UK – William Grant & Sons has announced that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Simon Hunt has stepped down after almost five years in the position, effective immediately.

Hunt has spent 13 years with the company in a number of different roles. Prior to taking up his CEO position in 2016, he served as chief commercial officer and president of the firm’s North America division.

“During his time with the company in a number of different roles, the profitability of the business has grown considerably, and Simon has driven a large part of this. Latterly as CEO, he has delivered a new strategy for the business and embarked on a significant capital development programme from which the company will continue to benefit going forward,” said a William Grant & Sons spokesperson.

Prior to joining William Grant & Sons, Hunt worked for Diageo and was CEO of Malibu Kahlua International, part of Pernod Ricard. The company did not disclose any information on his future endeavours.

“I am incredibly proud of all that I have achieved working with a brilliant team of people at William Grant & Sons, but now is the time for me to move on and I wish the company all the best for its ongoing success,” added Hunt.

Hunt will provide a short period of handover, however the distillery company’s chairman and chief financial officer, Giles Wilson, will assume his responsibilities immediately.

The owner of Hendrick’s gin and Sailor Jerry rum says a new CEO will be appointed in due course, although it may take some time.

This comes a week after William Grant & Sons raised an additional £10,600 (US$13,828) from its latest, and final, #Standfast initiative in support of The Drinks Trust, The BEN in Scotland and The Restaurants Association Ireland. 

The #Standfast: ‘Ride to Recovery’ initiative involved three teams from William Grant & Sons UK & Ireland each covering 1,475 miles in a virtual cycling race.

In light of the new tightening on-trade restrictions and possible closures, it was “more important than ever to not let support dwindle as it’s uncertain when these challenges will ease”, said Neil Barker, MD, William Grant & Sons UK & Ireland.

“These last seven months have hit the hospitality industry hard. We feel it’s important to continue to support and raise money for the on-trade which has always been such loyal supporters of William Grant & Sons brands,” he said. 

To date, throughout 2020, the William Grant & Sons UK #Standfast Campaign has raised in excess of £265,000 (US$345,705) for leading hospitality charities, most recently raising over £100,000 through a virtual auction.

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